Monday, 27 April 2015

Sunday Mumblings - Phones And Severed Fingers

We are still deep in bathroom renovations and haven't progressed much, but more about that later. Life goes on around the renovation mess and Chad is on midterm break. His school closes for the three days in between the two public holidays and he is going to book for his driver's licence this week. Apparently you can book before you turn 18. It changes all the time and seems as though all test stations have different rules. He needs to learn parallel parking and practice it and he needs to unlearn the bad habits he has learned from Mark. It is less than a month and he will be 18, I just cannot get around that. It is only when I look at photos that I realise how he has grown and that he is not a little kid anymore.

Yesterday we upgraded our phones and I finally said goodbye to Blackberry. I have been one of the few die hard loyal Blackberry users and yesterday I caved and deflected to Samsung. Chad had been trying to convince me forever and I was leaning towards getting a Samsung just so that I go back on Instagram again. I have always used my Samsung tablet for Instagram and then in December Instagram would not work so I could not finish the FMS Photo A Day Challenge and then as I got it to work again in January, Pluto died and I just lost interest. Using my tablet for Instagram, became a chore and I had to make a concerted effort to charge my tablet, take a photo and post it to Instagram. Nothing was spontaneous and spur of the moment and although FMS Photo A Day has prompts it still needs to be in the moment of the day. Blackberry has an app that you can use for Instagram, but it doesn't work.

Even the consultant helping us asked why I wanted another Blackberry and showed me the Galaxy A3. Chad wanted me to get the Samsung S4 Mini and the consultant said I must rather get the A3 or A5. Chad did not even know you get an A series in the Samsung range. The consultant then took me to another customer that was busy upgrading to a Samsung A3 and also told me to play around with the demo A5, they didn't have a demo A3 and this woman getting the A3 said she was also a diehard Blackberry user and changed to Samsung and won't ever go back to Blackberry. I ended up getting the A5 and it is such an awesome phone. I love it already and will now be back on Instagram doing photo a day again. I mainly wanted another Blackberry for BIS, but I can connect to our WIFI at home and at work and just use Mobile data when I am not at home or work. I may download BBM for Android, but they say it uses a lot of Data, but does it use more than Whatsapp or the same.

Mark got the new Samsung S6 and upgraded his contract to the MTN Star contract and now after 18 years with MTN, he finally has VIP Status with MTN. He has been paying more than the MTN Star contract for years and it was only yesterday that a Consultant suggested he upgrade to the top contract. Now he gets unlimited calls, VIP Status and a whole lot of other benefits for basically the same amount he was paying before, because he always went way over his 1000 minutes. Chad went from Blackberry to the Samsung S5, because EVERYONE at school has a Samsung and he has a broken blackberry. I remember when Clint also said EVERYONE at school had an expensive phone and he had a cheap one and I bought him a Samsung E370 - the trendy phone of the day then. How technology has advanced since then. So much has changed, yet everything has remained the same and a constant battle with grief and sadness.

Chad loves his S5, Mark is already complaining about his S6 - not sure why and I love my A5 - Chad is so envious and cannot believe the A5 has a radio and the S5 doesn't. I am still battling to get my stuff off my blackberry and have imported all my photos to my laptop. Chad and Mark had their contacts transferred to their new phones at the MTN store, but I forgot my phone at home so had to do mine via bluetooth. I transferred all Mark's stuff, even his messages to his new phone using Samsung Smart Switch and all my photos and videos from my Samsung Tablet to my phone. It is so simple, quick and easy. You download the app to both phones, connect and then transfer. The consultant that helped us at MTN was very helpful, friendly and knowledgeable, but he did not suggest we use Smart Switch and I don't think he knows about it. He was showing Chad how to transfer Mark's photos with bluetooth, which Chad knew anyway, but Smart Switch transfers everything, even your calendar and messages. I wish there was an easy way to transfer from Blackberry to Samsung.

Vetkoek - Regular and Large

Last night Mark went to the new Fat Cake City that opened up at our local shopping centre. For non South Africans reading this Fat Cake, is a traditional South African type of fried bread - pronounced Fet-cook and is traditionally known by the Afrikaans name Vetkoek. It is flour, salt and yeast (bread dough) rolled in a ball and fried in oil and then filled with either butter and jam or savoury fillings like mince. Here is an easy to make Vetkoek recipe. I had Fish and Potato Salad and Chad and Mark had Vetkoek. Chad had a regular Mince one and Mark had this humongous burger Vetkoek with two patties; bacon; relish, tomato; lettuce and who knows what else in it and it was the size of a dinner plate and it cost R50.00. I don't eat Vetkoek, but I think R50.00 is reasonable for that size and Mark said it was tasty - Chad's was a bit dry he said.

On Friday, Mark had a braai at work for the staff, not really a braai, but boerewors rolls (South African Sausage on a bread roll). Mark asked Sheila to get spices and dishes etc ready for him so he could just collect them on the way from buying the meat and she never packed any knives, we have no cutlery at work only teaspoons for coffee. I had to go to my favourite store, Westpack Lifestyle to buy floor cleaner so I bought a bread knife and two butter knives. I was slicing the rolls to butter them and sliced a huge gash into my skin. Who would have thought a bread knife could slice so deeply. Maybe it is because our bread knife at home is so old, but it certainly is not sharp like the one I bought on Friday. As usual we had no plasters only bandages, so it looked like a serious injury. Isn't it just weird how a paper cut hurts like hell, yet a deep cut doesn't hurt. Even as I was cutting into my finger it did not hurt, it stung a bit after I ran it under the tap and now it hurts a bit when I try and bend my finger. I cut it right by the fold in the middle of the finger. I was as bad as Chad with his hypochondria, but was surprised to see Chad has a huge graze across his arm and I asked what happened. Yesterday he was playing rugby with his friends, not proper rugby, just messing around at the Primary School up the road and he fell and grazed his arm. I asked him why he never poured whiskey on it and he said, because it is just a graze. Compared to the little cut from the other day, this graze is massive. There is no logic in irrational fears.

Legend or spiritual belief has it that whenever a Robin visits your garden, it means a loved one from heaven has come to visit. We always have a little Robin come and visit from time to time. I can't say for sure that it is the same one all the time, but I like to believe it is the same one and there is always only one in our garden. It always disappears when I go and fetch my camera and then I don't see it for days, then it is back again. This morning when I was tidying the kitchen and thinking of Clint and his phone and how technology has moved forward, I went to throw the rubbish away and there was my little Robin in the trees by the carport. I went inside and fetched my camera and these were the best shots I could get and then he flew away. I had to stand at a distance, because Jingles was at my feet and with all the noise from the builders, yes on a Sunday, I had to be very careful and I succeeded, because I have tried so often and as soon as I get my camera he is gone.

Tomorrow is Freedom Day and  21 years since we became the New South Africa and freedom for all South Africans. How sad is it that 21 year later we are having these terrible Xenophobic attacks. We watched an EWN news video of a Mozambican man's workshop being torched in Jeppestown and it was really sad. What was even more sad was Chad saying he asked his one friend who is a black boy from Malawi if he has been worried about the Xenophobic attacks and he said "yea kind of when I am in the taxis". Here is this boy who lives in a predominantly white area, mainly Afrikaans area, he told Chad there are only two other black families in the area where they have moved to, his father is a Professor at one of the Universities sending his child to a private school to get a better education and he has to fear being attacked by a mob who are killing foreign nationals because they are stealing jobs from South Africans. Like Chad says "How can a Professor be stealing an unskilled South African man's job?" Watching the attacks on Social Media and TV is one thing, but when it is your child's school friend that fears for his life in a taxi on his way to school, it just makes it so much more real.

Well that's our week, how was yours? Now I am going to watch Trevor Noah's That's Racist Movie. We have seen it before, but ot is one of those shows that remain funny no matter how often you watch it.

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